Ava DuVernay’s (“Selma,” “Queen Sugar”) upcoming documentary about mass incarceration is set to open the New York Film Festival this Friday (September 30) and debut on Netflix on October 7. Now, “13th” has a sobering new trailer that you definitely want to see.
The film’s title refers to the 13th Amendment, which banned slavery in the United States “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” That clause paved the way, the documentary argues, for the present-day reality of mass incarceration, disproportionate policing and harsh sentencing laws that continue to rob African Americans of their agency, generation after generation.
The trailer, which features appearances from Michelle Alexander and Cory Booker, also details the concurrent political and cultural distortion of Black people as predators and problems; it even features footage of both current presidential nominees and their previous statements on suspected criminals. The trailer also invokes the memory of Kalief Browder, who committed suicide last year after a harrowing three-year stay without trial at the notoriously violent Rikers Island jail in New York City.
Watch the trailer and let us know what you think in the comments.